Lisbon resident to run for seat on school board

February 07, 1994|By Lan Nguyen | Lan Nguyen,Sun Staff Writer

A second Howard County resident has announced his bid for a seat on the five-member Board of Education.

Stephen Bounds, a 38-year-old Republican who lives in Lisbon, announced his candidacy last week, saying he hopes to steer the school system back to basics after years of what he sees as misdirection.

"Let families teach values and let schools teach academics," he said.

Jamie Kendrick, a Howard High School graduate who served as a student member on the Board of Education, filed his candidacy with the Board of Elections last month. He is a Democrat.

Both are looking to fill positions held by board members Dana Hanna and Deborah Kendig, whose terms expire this year.

Mr. Hanna hasn't decided whether he will run for a second term, but Ms. Kendig has said that she will not seek re-election for the third time.

Candidates for school board are elected on a nonpartisan basis in countywide elections.

A 1973 graduate of Mount Hebron High School, Mr. Bounds works with his father, handling general civil matters at the law firm of Bounds and Bounds.

His three children attend Lisbon Elementary School.

Mr. Bounds believes the school system is trying to turn the county's teachers into substitute parents by forcing them to teach everything from environmentalism to bicycle safety.

He said the school system has forsaken reading, writing, spelling and other academic subjects in its emphasis on other issues.

"When you add these things, you have to have time to teach them," he said. "The days are not getting any longer, so you have to cut something out."

Mr. Bounds also said he fears that the county intends to adopt the idea of year-round schools -- a concept that he said may force siblings to attend school at different times and wreak havoc on family life.

"Year-round education is not cheap," he said.

"It's expensive from a standpoint of additional costs for air conditioning and teaching staff."

Mr. Bounds said his interest in the school board was prompted by a meeting he attended several months ago in which school officials said they intended to drop grades in elementary school, in favor of assessing students based on their progress.

"My first question is, if you're changing, what's broken?" he asked. "You don't fix something that's not broken. So what's wrong?"

Mr. Bounds said his experience as a lawyer solving problems for his clients would help him as a school board member who must tackle many different issues.

"I think those skills and the kind of logical way of attacking a problem that I have . . . will be of great benefit to the school board," he said.

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